At the request of state Senator Andy Dinniman, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing next Thursday in Chester County on ways to curb robocalls.

The hearing is set for Thursday, March 21 at 10 a.m. in the East Whiteland Township Building, 209 Conestoga Rd, Frazer, PA 19355.

The panel is expected to discuss legislative solutions to restrict and reduce robocalls, which are automated, recorded phone advertisements. The YouMail Robocall index estimates that Americans received 48 billion robocalls in 2018 – an astounding 57 percent increase over the previous year.  

“Apart from robocalls being annoying and intrusive, it is estimated that 40 percent of these calls are scams,” Dinniman said. “The explosive growth of robocalls cries out for a legislative remedy that would step up enforcement, improve authentication and give consumers a simple means to block these calls.”

Dinniman has introduced legislation, Senate Bill 306, that would enable consumers to opt-out of robo

calls, prohibit such calls on holidays, and require telemarketers to give consumers easy opt-out options. He has also called for cracking down on deceptive technology that enables telemarketers to mimic local phone numbers.

The policy committee is chaired by Sen. Lisa Boscola.

Boscola said, “Rallying public and legislative support behind combatting robocalls will be the easy part. The difficulty will come with finding workable solutions that specifically curb robocalls without hampering reasonable and legitimate ways to reach consumers.”